Word Count: 953
Characters: Castiel, Lucifer
Tags: Implied Incest (non-explicit)
Inspired by: Imagine Dragons - "Demons"
(Please be aware that this is a graphic heavy entry. You may need to reload the page in order to view it properly.)
“I’ll die first.”
Calm and defiant, Castiel looks across the flames. Lucifer meets his eyes, and he knows that Castiel means it, knows that he would rather cease to exist than ally himself with the Devil. On some level, Lucifer can’t really blame him. He’ll always be hunted, always be hated, always be something different than all the others. He knows what he is and what he has to do; he just wanted this one thing, just one thing for himself. But no, they’re both better off if they never see each other again. Lucifer nods quietly, tells himself that this is for the best.
“...I suppose you will.”
Days pass, then weeks. He can’t stay away. No matter how hard he tries, Lucifer simply cannot look the other way and ignore what is happening. Castiel’s decaying grace calls out to him, the wail of a banshee and a siren’s seduction all at once. Castiel is hunted, so Lucifer keeps the others from finding him, cloaking his little brother with the power of his own grace. Castiel has no idea, not until he turns himself into a weapon of banishment and obliterates his grace in one grand showing of white light. Lucifer feels him burning out, feels him slipping away. Castiel is reduced to a mere spark, a floundering star in the sea of darkness, one that all of Heaven is lined up to stomp out. But Lucifer gets there first.
He steals Castiel away, hides him from the Heavenly army, slowly pieces him back together from the brink of oblivion. It’s a struggle to hold him together, grace so broken and tattered. Lucifer doesn’t think Castiel really knows where he is, and that’s probably for the best. At least he’s safe. Watching him laid out pale and still, Lucifer realizes with a sudden, aching longing that all he wants is to keep Castiel away from all this. He’s torn between admiration for his little brother’s tenacity to dare stand up against Heaven after the example that was made out of him and frustration for how Castiel insists upon dooming himself for those who aren’t even worth it. That radiance that shines out from the core of his being is the most overwhelmingly beautiful thing Lucifer has seen in so long… the very thing that will surely be Castiel’s downfall.
Against his better judgment, Lucifer lingers in the hospital to watch over him. It’s no surprise who he calls upon waking, but predictability doesn’t curb the sharp bitterness and resentment that coils at the base of Lucifer’s spine. Not his, he reminds himself, never his, but someone he can love and protect from afar. Hurrying away, he misses the clatter of the phone striking the floor and the sharp intake of breath Castiel sucks into his lungs as a series of hazy, fragmented images flash across his eyes.
Graceless and weak, Castiel becomes something like a human. That should be the end of it, the final blow to Lucifer’s fascination, as if the sheer impossibility weren’t enough. It isn’t; Castiel’s essence calls to him stronger than ever, and Lucifer remains vigilant. It’s more important now that Castiel is less capable of defending himself, so Lucifer tells himself, but he begins to notice that it’s harder and harder to track him. Castiel exists somewhere in between, neither completely human or angel, and in doing so, he manages to evade them both.
The chilling realization of which side of the line Castiel’s beginning to fall on comes when Lucifer unwittingly finds himself seeking Castiel through his dreams. It’s not natural for an angel to sleep, even less so for one to dream, but as Lucifer looks over, he realizes that Castiel seems peaceful for the first time since they found each other on Earth. It was a mistake to come here, he knows. To love someone, to keep them safe, to truly care for them means to keep them as far away as he possibly can. Lucifer takes his last look and turns to leave.
“I knew you’d come.”
He stops, looking back with more than a hint of reluctance, unable to resist.
“I knew it was you,” Castiel says. “There were too many coincidences. The other angels, the sigil, finding myself in that hospital when I should have been dead-- when I planned to be dead. I knew it was you, and I knew you would come.”
Lucifer hesitates, fingers digging into the doorframe, trying not to meet Castiel’s eyes.
He frowns sadly. “Do you really have to ask?”
“No… Not that. I mean the rest of it. Lucifer, you don’t want this. I know you don’t.” Castiel’s eyes are wide and earnest, and they make Lucifer’s heart ache.
“It’s not that simple.”
“Yes. It is.”
“It’s too late… I’m sorry, Castiel. If I could stop it… if I could...”
“You can. Lucifer, I know you can,” Castiel says, reaching to clasp his hands. "I believe in you."
Lucifer watches silently, marvels at how their fingers fit together.
He looks up and stares into the deep blue of Castiel’s eyes. It’s still there, that beautiful light. Lucifer isn’t quite sure what it is-- hope or grace or love, but it’s right there in Castiel’s eyes… almost within his reach.
Your eyes, they shine so bright, I wanna save that light
I can't escape this now unless you show me how